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    Precipitous stadia

    Some of the TV shots from the upper stands of the Stade Velodrome on tonight's Euros coverage just made it look like a valley with a pitch at the bottom of it. A really fucking steep-sided valley!

    So are there any stadia you've been to that have made you feel particularly vertiginous due to their inclines or just imperilled by their lack of safety?

    The first time I went to the old Wembley was to see the Raiders vs. the Saints(?) in one of the 'American Bowl's (a friend offered me a ticket). When we got there, I headed straight for one of the main entrances, but the family I was with smiled and said "We're up here, Clive!". I hadn't looked at the ticket or bothered researching the seat layout. (It was pre-internet.) We were 'up in the gods'.

    I walked out onto that narrow top tier and instantly just about grabbed onto the nearest solid object to me! The rake of that balcony had to be about 45 degrees, with merely knee-high barriers at the bottom of its few rows to stop you plummeting to your doom. I felt like I was going to trip and roll to my death at any moment, as if in some inescapable nightmare. In time I loosened up and I might have even stood up to watch some of the plays, by the end of the game.

    I've never flown (and I'm not afraid to do so) but that felt like the closest I've ever got to flying ...only far less safely!

    #2
    Precipitous stadia

    The old National Stadium in Cardiff had a very steep rake to the upper tier. I used to get a bit giddy on it occasionally.

    Actually I did two games of these Euros in the back two rows of the Stade de France and it could really do with a handrail from there down to the exit/entrance to the concourse. It was a little too much of a slope for me.

    The good thing about being up there was that they let people stand in the walkways behind the back row (though unfortunately they let people smoke too, it was like a lawles frontier town).

    .

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      #3
      Precipitous stadia

      The student section at Penn State's Pegula Ice Arena is "as steep as code will allow" according to repeated hype before and after it was completed.



      That's roughly the vantage point on it from my regular seats. I'm just a few rows in front of the press so that makes sense, I guess.

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        #4
        Precipitous stadia

        The new East Stand at Easter Road feels perilously steep, and it'd be a hell of a long way down those steps of you took a tumble. The new top tier behind the goal at Man City also feels like you require a mountaineering certificate to reach your seat.

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          #5
          Precipitous stadia

          Tannadice when it was terraced, the steps were narrow as was the terrace itself.

          Worrying place when the crowd got going.

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            #6
            Precipitous stadia

            Top tier at the Bernabeu. The rake there is significantly more than 45%. More like 60% at a guess, but definitely steeper than Wembley's top tier having been in both. Getting from the entrance to the seats felt like climbing a ladder.

            I'm guessing the same is true for all the enormobowls. It's the only way that that seats that far up can get a proper view of the playing surface. The thing is, despite how uncomfortable it might feel, you don't hear of people falling down on those steps and hurting themselves. Maybe it's just not reported.

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              #7
              Precipitous stadia

              The Sine Qua Non of this would have to be La Bombonera, of course.



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                #8
                Precipitous stadia

                I give you - "The Nest", Norwich City

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                  #9
                  Precipitous stadia

                  Behind the one goal at Sigma Olomouc. I think they modelled this end on the old Velodrome. The one side used to have a very steep terrace as well.
                  Lovely ground this one btw. It'll be hosting the Czech 2nd league again this season.

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                    #10
                    Precipitous stadia

                    Valencia's looks pretty steep, those railings are there for a purpose:



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                      #11
                      Precipitous stadia

                      Toyota Stadium in Toyota, Japan (Nagoya suburb) is pretty spectacular because its deep upper stand is at a constant near 45deg angle:





                      The Rose Bowl in Pasadena is the shallowest stadium I've ever been in, the first couple of dozen rows are nearly flat. I sat pretty close to the field for the Rose Bowl game between UCLA and Michigan, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a couple of rows in front of us, but thankfully a few seats to the side. You could definitely tell that the guy sitting right behind him was hating it...



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                        #12
                        Precipitous stadia

                        Valencias is pretty steep.

                        We were in the back row surrounded by the local dope smokers. Apparently they congregate there as the entrance to the terraces is in front of them which means they can see any police. Then hoy their spliffs over the back wall into the carpark a thousand miles below.

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                          #13
                          Precipitous stadia

                          The new top tier behind the goal at Man City is both very high up and very steep. They are now adding one to the far end.

                          The corner stand at the Vetch was very steep, but was also invariably empty.

                          But without doubt, the steepest is the upper tier at Duisburg. It is near vertical, has no hand rails, and appears to be made of jelly, as if there are more than four persons in it, it shakes like a pre-race shitting greyhound.

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                            #14
                            Precipitous stadia

                            Guy Profumeau wrote: I give you - "The Nest", Norwich City
                            That's a fabulous picture Guy (I particularly love the advert someone's slapped on with a tin of paint and a brush) the Nest was built into an old quarry, hence the bizarre landscape/engineering. In all my years following Norwich I've never actually consciously seen photos from inside the ground, so I've never been quite sure until right now how it all worked, bar the common knowledge that there was a concrete wall one end of the ground supporting a cliff from which supporters watched, surreally enough.

                            I love how there were plenty of people happy to sit on the edge of the drop and watch the match with their feet dangling off it:

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                              #15
                              Precipitous stadia

                              The Nest was Britain's foremost venue for motorcycle football.

                              There is a great Pathe Film of something like Middlesbrough v Stoke being played there. It was featured in Groundtastic many years ago.

                              Edit. Here is said film. It is actually Grimsby v Coventry, obviously.

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                                #16
                                Precipitous stadia

                                Going back to the OP, I'd imagine the Velodrome would have been a lot worse when it didn't have a roof. I always got the impression that if you were sat in the very top row of seats it wouldn't take much for you to lean back just a little too much and plunge to your grisly demise.

                                I'm sure that wouldn't actually have been the case but that's certainly how it looked on TV.

                                Also... that stadium in Braga, the one that seems to have been hewn out of the rock. The top tier of both stands appear to be at 45 degrees or so.

                                Also also... it's not the steepest but the Leazes End looks pretty damn precarious to me. It just doesn't look quite right when a new tier gets plonked on top of an existing stand (see BBaF's post about the one at the Etihad). I get the feeling the Main Stand at Anfield will be pretty much the same once that's done.

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                                  #17
                                  Precipitous stadia

                                  Big Boobs and FIRE! wrote: The Nest was Britain's foremost venue for motorcycle football.

                                  There is a great Pathe Film of something like Middlesbrough v Stoke being played there. It was featured in Groundtastic many years ago.

                                  Edit. Here is said film. It is actually Grimsby v Coventry, obviously.
                                  Easy mistake to make, what with Grimsby and Stoke being such fierce local rivals

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